If you’ve been paying attention this offseason, you know the drill about free agency.
Few significant deals have been consummated. A ton of quality players are looking for jobs. The players are waiting. The players’ union is ticked. The agents are whispering – or shouting – collusion.
And Major League Baseball contends this is the current market: Figure it out, embrace it or at least live with it.
There are more than 100 free agents still on the market. And the Orioles haven’t signed a major leaguer to a big league deal (unless you count right-hander Michael Kelly, who was signed and placed on the 40-man roster in December, but has never pitched in the majors).
On Wednesday – which marked one week before pitchers and catchers must report to Sarasota, Fla. – the Orioles announced the signing of three players: outfielder Craig Gentry and relievers Elvis Araujo and David Holmberg. All were signed to minor league deals, and only Gentry, who had 117 plate appearances with the Orioles last year, received an invitation to spring training.
If you want a microcosm of what this free agent market has become, look no further than the Orioles’ 10 free agents at the end of last season.
Only one has inked a big league deal and only three have signed a pro contract. Certainly, part of the reason is that, as a group, the 10 had down years in 2017. But you’d think most would land big league deals. This offseason, though, is like nothing we’ve witnessed before – or at least not in decades.
Here’s a look at what’s going on with the 10 Orioles that declared free agency at season’s end: